Hey y’all! It’s Lauren, President of Chriselle Inc. and CEO of CINCstudios.
I’ve been tasked with the assignment of sharing my knowledge about $$, saving, and budgeting (my favorite topics)!
Whether you are wanting to save $$ for the holidays, to go on a dream vacation, or just want to get your financial life in order, it’s important to know and understand the basics.
As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve started and helped fix multiple businesses and have come across countless financial situations. Here are my basic tips on how to save and budget. These tips can also be more broadly applied to a small business.
1. How Much $$?
The most important step you need to figure out (for yourself or your business) is how much money you are bringing in. I consistently look at the figures on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
If you have a steady job, this should be an easy number to calculate based on your paystubs as a salaried employee. If you have a job where the income changes (like one that relies on tips) or run a small business, you will need to make an educated estimate or projection of how much money you expect to come in
Keeping your money in a savings or checking account will make it easy to track your finances and pay bills.
2. Determine Fixed Expenses
This should be fairly simple to figure out. Take a look at all of your monthly bills (rent, utilities, car payments, insurance, Netflix…) to see what expenses are the same every month.
3. Determine Variable Expenses
This is a little trickier. Variable expenses are things you pay for that don’t cost the same amount every month. This can include food/groceries, fueling your coffee habit, the shopping spree you went on after you colored your hair and are really feeling your new lewk, going to the salon, getting your hair colored, etc. Take a look at 6 months of variable spending and calculate an average amount.
4. Use math
Once you figure out your numbers from steps 1-3, you simply subtract your expenses from your income. This will create your financial picture. Hopefully, you will find that you have extra $$ you can put away into savings or investments. If not, you will see where you need to cut back or stop spending.
Tips for saving $$
On a personal note, here are my favorite ways to save $$.
+ Have a portion of your paycheck automatically go towards savings. You can usually set this up on through your online banking. If you don’t “see” the money, you won’t be tempted to spend it.
+ Make your own drinks! I used to spend $10 a day on coffee, now I make my own and save about $9 per day! (FYI, this isn’t true, but it’s a good tip, haha)
+ Automate your $$! There are so many amazing apps out there that can help you save and budget. The CINCteam swears by Acorns and Qapital. Acorns uses ’round ups’ and you can have it automatically take money from your account to save within the app. Hannah used this app to pay for several vacations! Qapital is great for setting $$ goals, like saving up for a trip or a new piece of furniture. Our photographer Karla used Qapital to save up for and pay for a huge chunk of her wedding!
+ Another app you can use is Ebates. I love this app because I buy most things online. It gives rebates from a lot of ecom sites I tend to shop at. At the end of each quarter, they will send you a check in the mail!
Hope these tips help you! Let me know if you have any questions or tips you use to save $$ in the comments below!
Photography by Karla Ticas